Welcome To My Green Pasture....

It is a place of quiet rest that I have found when I am writing. I hope that someone will find my musings helpful in some way.
Psalm 23:2 "He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restoreth my soul."

My Green Pasture....

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Blind As A Bat

 I have no idea if bats are really blind...maybe you know. I remember hearing this phrase as a kid, "blind as a bat". I never did quite get that! Anyway... I found this old pair of glasses out in our barn and I suppose they were used by Grandpa to shield his eyes when he was working on the old truck or maybe just working with the animals he used to have. I tried them on just for fun and really couldn't see a thing with them...but then again I am one that you would say is "blind as a bat"! I finally, after about six years, decided I had better go get my eyes checked and get a new pair of glasses that I could actually "See" with, since I noticed I really can't see much with or without my glasses! That is pretty scary since I do all of the driving around here! Yeah....then I think about one of my friends who gradually, over the last year, has lost her sight almost completely. How terrible to not be able to see and have to feel your way around to do everything! I tend to stumble and fall a lot due to the fact that I can't always see details in front of me, and trip! I thought about that this morning as I was having my quiet moments here with the cat and dog and cup of coffee. How many times in my life I have stumbled and made wrong choices because I was not seeing clearly? I was not holding the hand of my guide.  I am so glad I have a guide that is holding tightly to my hand now, and this time I am not going to let go .....it was me who let go.  Many times we don't see what is in front of us and have no clue what to do ....but if we are relying on our guide to lead and direct our steps and trust Him, then we will make the wise choices and decisions that need to be made, instead of our own stumblings that cause us to fall into our own dumb pits.

Isaiah 42:16 "I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in the paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them."

Proverbs 3:6 " In all thy ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct  thy paths."

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fantastic Ending!

I can't stand it when I watch a movie and I am all into it and so excited with it, on the edge of my seat, and then the ending is a piece of garbage!! What a let down! The only thing good about wasting two hours on watching it, was the buttery popcorn and the diet coke! I was listening to some of my friends tell stories of their childhoods and heard one of them say that they hoped their ending would be better than their beginning, since the beginning really stunk!! Well this morning I was thinking about Job and how He had so many different troubles come upon his life....not only was he sick but he lost everything! I am not going to re-tell the story you can read about it yourself in the book of Job; however you have to be impressed with the fact that the ending is fantastic! He kept trusting God no matter what troubles came upon him... and in the end...He was shining!! I have always had Job 23:10 as one of my favorite verses since I was in High School...a long time ago! "He knoweth the  way that I take, when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." Don't give up if you are in the middle of a storm right now...just keep on trusting Him. 
Job 42:12 "The Lord blessed the latter part of Job's life more than the first."

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

That's What Ya Get!

I have to confess..I have had some pretty rotten thoughts! There have been some irritating people over the years that I would just as soon throw to the wind. Then you hear that something tragic has occurred in their life. What do you do? Do you react with  " That's What Ya Get!" ? ; or do you have compassion upon them and pray for them? We are supposed to be kind to those who hate us, bless our enemies, ya- da, ya- da....but do we practise what we preach behind closed doors? When no one is around are we saying differently? I think God "Really" wants me to learn this lesson big time, because lately He has put some of these examples in front of me.  I think I passed the test, but it was because He did it not me! I heard about a lady who I really did not like years ago, who I had been in a literal face-slapping fight with; had been sick, and then had more problems and had her leg amputated! I could have reacted with "That's What Ya Get"!; however I found myself deeply moved with compassion, and prayed for her. Now I know that God did that in my heart, because the way I felt about her  17 years ago was nothing but hatred! I know that there are people who have hated on me and have gloated over my problems and tragedies. I know I have been guilty of doing this to others in the past  as well.  Funny how this recently came up again in my life, and this morning up it popped again when I read Psalm 30....

                                                                                                                                                                                           Psalm 30:1 " I will exalt you O Lord, for you lifted me out of the depths and did not let my enemies gloat over me."

Monday, March 28, 2011

Noisy But Noticed

This morning  I was thinking about how we are just helpless little sheep. I love the Psalms and especially Psalm 23. The title for this blog is because of the fact I quote Psalm 23 every night before I fall asleep. I love to picture in my mind that I am that sheep and God is taking gentle care of me. I usually read a Psalm every day; but as much as I have read Psalm 28, I was surprised by it this morning when I re-read it. It struck me this morning that all through the Psalms,  David keeps asking for God to hear his cry for mercy. That sounds like a shepherd talking.....he would have a lot of experience rescuing poor little helpless sheep who were stuck in a pit or in a bush and just crying away as loudly as they could! He as a shepherd, would have gone to where that pitiful, little noisy sheep was, and had mercy upon it, picked it up in his arms, and carried it back to the flock. David saw himself as just a noisy little sheep before God His shepherd. I may be noisy and cry out to God a lot, but I take comfort in the fact that He notices my noisy cries for help, He pities me and has mercy on me! I am so glad that he sees me as a pitiful little sheep.....
                                                                                                                                                                        Psalm28:6-7 "Praise be to the Lord, for He has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield: my heart trusts in Him and I am helped."

Psalm28:9 " ....be their shepherd and carry them forever."

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Kathy Seffinga has such a cool profile!

Kathy Seffinga has such a cool profile!

~Faith* Family* Friends~

We were never promised a perfect peachy, creamy, life here are on Earth! There are days when life is downright treacherous and upsetting! Some days things go relatively smooth while other days are nothing but  trouble from the moment you set your feet on the floor until you lay your head back on the pillow! I  too, have had both of these kind.  No matter which kind of day, these three are so important! ~ Faith* Family* Friends~   Faith~~first of all, that God IS, and that He hears me! He rewards those who seek for Him! Faith in yourself....don't believe your own lies or anyone Else's that you are no good! Keep believing the impossible.."for with God, all things are possible."  Family~~love them unconditionally, and pray without ceasing for them.  Sometimes it is those closest to us that hurt us the most. Forgive and move on. Family, also, can be more than blood relatives.  Friends~~ are often underestimated in value, but they are so important! I have come to realize this so much lately and am so very thankful for the wonderful, supportive friends that have so strategically been placed in my life. Each one is a treasure to be cherished. Whatever kind of a day you may be facing today, remember to draw upon your three helpers in life...Faith*Family*Friends.
Hebrews 11:6 " But without Faith it is impossible to please God for He that cometh to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him."
Proverbs 17:6 " Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children."
Proverbs 17:17 " A friend loveth at all times...."

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Better Not Bitter

The sun coming through the living room windows this morning is so welcomed! It is refreshing and a great reminder that our future Spring is on the way...one of these days hopefully sooner than later! I try to write here what is on my heart and hopefully, it is something I can share! I was thinking this morning, that every morning when I wake up, I make a choice what my mind is going to think about or which direction I will allow it to go. I have been on purpose praying first thing....not because I am so spiritual and you are not....just the opposite, probably! Because I feel so wretched that if I don't pray immediately my thoughts tend to go the wrong direction right away, and then my whole day follows that path and of course I don't have to tell you......crappy day!   I have had a lot in my life that could make me bitter, but this last year I have worked hard at releasing each issue in prayer to God. I have no room for bitterness and want none of it! A very wise woman told me about a year ago, that sometimes we tend to bury the things that are hurting us the most and haven't even given those things to God because we are just hiding those things deep within. I started doing some deep soul searching and found out she was so right...there were so many issues I had not given over to God. So many hurts ...disappointments..so one by one I began giving them to Him and felt Him melt them away.  He is helping me little by little get  "Better Not Bitter", and as He does this ...(.which is a process by the way), it is as the sun shining through my window.

Ecclesiastes 11:7 "Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun."

Friday, March 25, 2011

Because Nice Matters

"Just be nice!"...But I don't always feel like it! Sometimes I feel down right ugly and mean. I don't have it in myself to be nice, especially when I feel like someone else may be deserving of my "meanness"! It is so easy to be angry when someone is mistreating you in someway. The natural response when someone attacks our character or questions our behaviour is to get angry . To be kind and sweet just doesn't flow naturally...at least not for me and I think if you are not pious and legalistic you would admit that it is true for you too! I have to pray fervently in order for the peace of God to take over and to replace that anger with a love and kindness and a mercy for the offender.
It has been impressed upon me lately that God is never finished working on us until the very moment that He takes us home. Just when you think you are where you should be spiritually, you find out there is something else creeping in that you need to deal with! Like....Anger? Envy? Bitterness? Wow...too many issues to work on...I think I will live a long, long time! I am reminded once again what the Bible has to say about anger.....so much!                                                                         Proverbs 14:17 "He that is soon angry dealeth foolishly."
 Proverbs 15:18 "A wrathful man stirreth up strife, but he that is slow to anger appeaseth strife."
Proverbs15:1 "A soft answer turneth away wrath but grievous words stir up anger."
Proverbs 27:4 " Wrath is cruel and anger is outrageous; but who can stand against envy?"
Colossians 3:8 " But now ye also put off all these; anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy,filthy communication out of your mouth."
Ephesians 4:31,32 "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: and be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
                                                                                                                                                                                     OK, God...I get it..and I see there are many more verses on this subject! Wow. Give me the help I need to be nice even when I don't want to....because I see that to YOU ...Nice Matters.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Birthday Blizzard

Well, yesterday as many of you know was my 51st birthday! I am alive and well this morning and announcing that I had a "Birthday Blizzard" and I do not mean the kind from Dairy Queen! It figures that as soon as I got in a" Springy" mood and changed this blog theme once again to "Spring Has Sprung", we would get the biggest, "baddest", snow storm that we have received all winter! I had plans for my birthday....now what? You have to realize that we live way out in the boonies...down winding country roads that have houses sparsely scattered along them here and there! The nearest town to us where we do any shopping whatsoever is about 27 miles, and then it does not have all of the "good" restaurants and stores! In order to feel like you are back in part of civilization, one has to drive a little farther south to a larger town, where there is an actual mall and all of the name brand places to eat...at least the ones that I like! No, I am not getting paid to advertise...Olive Garden, Red Lobster, but most importantly......Texas Roadhouse!!! Yay.. my favorite.  So..to make a long story short..I was determined to go, in spite of the weather...only didn't realize just how deep that white stuff really was in my driveway! Of course neither of us are in any shape to do shoveling...but Rocky got out the shovel and began unloading some snow around the car and soon came back in announcing that we wouldn't be going anywhere...just too deep. Well..for me being the stubborn person that I am and since it was MY birthday...I was Not going to take that for an answer so on went my boots and out the door I went with a new determination that we were going to Texas Roadhouse....Blizzard or no Blizzard! By now Rocky was huffing and puffing and ready to take a nap. So I got in the Vibe and warmed her up and off I went down the driveway full speed ahead, until I hit a roadblock of about 2 and a half  feet of snow piled up in the middle of my driveway and there I was stuck. Still determined we were going to get out...I got out the shovel and began digging around the tires. I was really thinking of giving in and forgetting about it and maybe doing the birthday thing another day when the weather got better. Just then, a familiar little green pickup drove by belonging to our country neighbors. The same neighbors who have brought us piles of wood for our woodstove, and bless her heart...I call her the  " muffin lady" since she has on so many numerous mornings brought us warm muffins from her oven.  They were on their way to help another neighbor, but turned around when they saw me out there trying to shovel, so they came and shoveled me out!  Now that was a fine birthday present! I would not have had my Texas Roadhouse had it not been for them! I had a wonderful birthday...and I was reminded once again of what wonderful neighbors God has given to me..people who put into practise..."Love your Neighbor as yourself...."   

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Behind Every Face

We all meet so many people throughout our lives. Some stay in our lives for the entire journey while some are just passing acquaintances. I have been going through a lot of pictures lately since I am trying to work on a memoir of my own life. It is pretty amazing all of the different people who have been involved in my life at one point or another. So many faces.....as they lay scattered upstairs on my floor.

Behind every  face I see a memory, a story.....a story that explains who that person is or was. A reason why their behaviour was such as it was. Maybe even at the time that person was in my life for the fleeting moment, I didn't take the time to know their story and therefore, misjudged. I look at some of these faces laying on my floor now....some of them are already gone on to Heaven. Some are out of my life now, and on to other places and people. Some of them I learned their true stories after it was too late for me to show them that I cared; and for that I feel so sad. I have come to realize lately that God sees people for their stories. He knows everything about them. He doesn't look at people the same way that we do. A friend of mine told me that he felt like he looks like a " freak.".....I told him that is not how God sees him. I wonder do I take the time to learn other peoples' stories? Perhaps if I did, I would be very surprised to see how only the grace of God has brought them through what they have been through. The next time you are quick to judge another, why don't you just stop yourself for a second; and look into their face, and realize that behind that face is a story that you do not know. 
Matthew 14: 14 " And Jesus...was moved with compassion toward them , and healed their sick."

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Just Ordinary

 This is just an ordinary eggbeater. I can picture my grandma using this to beat eggs or to whip some whipping cream but would you choose to use this today? I think you probably would rather choose the more sophisticated  newest model of a mixer or blender, or food processor. I look at this ordinary mixer and see myself. Sometimes I feel so ordinary. I am not super sophisticated or fancy. I prefer log cabins to beautiful , elegant Victorian mansions. I prefer jeans and sweatshirts to dressy clothes. I prefer country living to the city. I prefer eating in a small cafe' to an elegant restaurant.                              Have you ever felt ordinary? I mean just plain and simple? Non- sophisticated, unsuccessful, invaluable?  I got curious one day as to whether this old beater would still do the job as efficiently as the electric mixer, so I got it down from my shelf where it sat with my other collection of red and yellow handled once used tools.  As I began to crank that handle faster and faster my eggs whipped up pretty quickly. To my surprise this old beater actually whipped up the best batch of scrambled eggs I had made in a long while. It made me realize that though it is just an ordinary old beater it is useful and actually did a better job! Do you realize that even Jesus chose to use the ordinary over the sophisticated? He could have chosen His disciples from amongst the more elite or educated of the day.....I wonder why He chose the ordinary group of fisherman? He saw their value. He sees my value even though I am just ordinary. Maybe you are just ordinary too...you are valuable and usable.

Monday, March 21, 2011

No Spring Chicken

I know I'm about to reveal my age...a no- no for most women! I grew up watching  the original episodes of "The Andy Griffith Show".  Aunt B was always one of my favorite characters. It seems to me that she was always the same age on the show.....old!  I remember one episode in particular when she wasn't feeling so well and  went to see the Dr. only to be told  she was no "spring chicken" any more.  Another birthday is fast approaching in a couple of days, and I can hardly believe I will be turning 51! I too, am realizing I am  no "spring chicken" any more! This has been a great year in many ways, but physically my body has started to fall apart like an old jalopy! I have felt like I just get one thing taken care of, then one more thing goes crazy! I have learned many practical lessons from my life which could fill many books should I choose to write them. One main thing that I have learned is that all through my life from start to now, I can look back and see God's hand on everything and see how and when He has worked things out . At times when I took a detour and got off the right path, He still worked out His plan and brought me back, time after time. He has never let go.  Psalm 71:6 "From my birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you."  
Psalm 71:17-18 " Since my youth, O God, you have taught me, and to this day I declare your marvelous deeds. Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come."

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Sweet Tooth

 It's funny that even though this picture is about 23 years ago, I still recall my surprise when I entered my kitchen to find this little rascal up on a chair, eating up the sugar! I couldn't help but be amused so ran and got the camera, so here we are with this picture! The funny thing was, she thought she was in trouble and immediately told me that she didn't do it....her twin brother "Bo Bo" did it! Of course she had sugar evidence all over her face and hands, all over the table and floor and  "Bo Bo" was in the other room. I wondered why in the world she would even want to eat all of that "sweetness"?  She must have been craving something sweet I guess... it makes me think that we are supposed to crave after a relationship with God and His word . Sometimes I crave after a Hershey bar so bad that I finally have to just go get one. David the psalmist said that God's words were sweeter to him than honey. We sometimes get so busy we forget to even eat....maybe sometimes we do the same thing with God....we get so busy we forget to want His instructions. I know I need work in this area...really taking the time to pay attention to what His word says. It is relevant to every issue in life . " Help me Lord to have a "sweet tooth" for the things of God."
                                                                                                                                                                                  Psalm 104:33-34 "I will sing unto the Lord as long as I live: I will sing praise to my God while I have my being. My meditation of Him shall be sweet: I will be glad in the LORD."

Friday, March 18, 2011

Rise And Shine!

Rise and Shine! Yeah...some days that is not so easy... at least for me! Today I am feeling tired and achy and bummed out. Why? Who knows....just part of the "Fibro- mess"  that I have. Yesterday was a long day of going to my specialist who is two hours away.  New medication was discussed and the fact that I happen to be one of the small minority of people whose carpal tunnel surgery went poop! I may have to have my surgery all over again  sometime soon, or my hand may not be normal again...hmmmmm. Well....it figures, it would happen to ME! It is almost laughable. So today I sit here, aching from head to toe wondering when I am ever going to feel better again?
My mind wants to do so much...but my body is saying NO!!.... When  I started this blog, I wanted to stay away from talking about my ailments and the Fibromyalgia because I noticed there are so many other blogs out there that already cover this! But today I just wanted to let all of my fellow fibro sufferers know you are not alone in your misery. I have it too, not that it's any comfort to you to know that I am sitting here on my couch  feeling like crap this morning but just so you know .....I don't have that "Rise and Shine" spirit either! What I do have, is help when I ask for it...so this morning I'm asking...big time! Help me...Lord...
Psalm 42:11 "Why art thou cast down O my soul and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise Him ,who is the health of my countenance, and my God."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Precious Little Kitty?... Not!

 We have three cats in our house but this one is "Precious"....No, she isn't all that precious; that is just her name! Sure she looks all innocent and sweet...don't let it fool you! She is the Best "critter" killer in this county, I do believe! She is responsible for  murdered birds, chipmunks, bats, moles, shrews, and mice that lay gruesomely massacred in our  yard, as soon as the weather permits! In the spring and summer I can see her from the kitchen window just lurking through the field looking for her next victim. She stealthily will creep up behind and then pounce! She really does remind me of a lion! I cant help but think that sometimes we let things creep up behind us in our lives and allow them to overtake us and pounce on us. Sometimes I wish I could rescue the poor little chipmunks or other victims of "Precious" to spare them their demise, but I am usually too late! I am thankful though, that an all loving God does many times run interference for us and has our back so to speak...He knows when we are about to be pounced upon; be it by something we are doing ourselves, or by someone else! He has our best interest in mind. He does come to our rescue and He is always in the nick of time!
1 Peter 5: 7-8 " Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion  looking for someone to devour."

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A Very Present Help

Unless you have had your head stuck in the sand lately, you know that there have been all kinds of terrible things happening! Right now all that's happening in Japan is disturbing if you have any compassion at all. I found it hard to watch the news report of people looking for their loved ones in the rubble. My heart went out to them. The devastation is unbelievable! The news media has a tendency to create an anxiety and cause people to worry about the future even more than they maybe already are. Of course our economy is a mess, and people fear a government shutdown, unemployment, and numerous other worries and fears. I found myself thinking too....what if this? and  what if that?...but I am reminded of the verses that I know and believe.
Psalm 46:1-3 "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help  in trouble. Therefore will we not fear, though the earth be removed and the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; 
Though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof."

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Sun Will Shine Again

These are some of my favorite characters! You may think I am childish...that's ok. These guys make me laugh and feel good. There have been so many things lately that have been so sad and hard for so many people. Maybe you feel like the sun will never shine again. Sometimes when it rains it pours and our pocketful of problems can feel like a terrible rainstorm that will never end. I heard recently of a boy who was hit by a car, a family who may lose custody of their 6 yr old son, a man who committed suicide, a friend whose daughter had brain surgery, another who had a foot amputated, another who broke his ankle right when getting ready for a move to another state, and of course the tsunami in Japan! I have added all of these to my prayer list. I have had my share of hardships and heartaches and can say that I have been there too where I felt like it would never get any better. I love this quote from my beloved friend Eeyore, "The nicest thing about the rain, is that it always stops eventually." It reminds me of the Bible verse that says, "Weeping may endure for a night but joy comes in the morning." Maybe you are going through something right now that seems like it has no end. Hang on...trust God to bring you through it. If you are so fortunate as to not be going through anything right now, be thankful and remember to pray for those who are! The sun will shine again!
Nahum 1:7 "The Lord  is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him."

Monday, March 14, 2011

Work In Progress

Sometimes we get to thinking a bit too much of ourselves....maybe we think we have arrived! Be careful...it's when we think we are "all that", a harsh reminder is given that we still have a lot of imperfections. Usually there will be someone, or maybe even a bunch of people, standing in line to tell us all about them! If you've been reading my blog, you know that I love antiques. I found this old tool out in the barn and am quite sure it is a handmade one. I think it was used to smooth out rough wood, to get the imperfections out. There are so many things in my life that have needed work on, that I feel like God is smoothing away little by little. I knew when I started this blog that I was making myself vulnerable in a way, as I am sharing my inner thoughts with who knows who...but I figure if some of my struggles and practical lessons learned can help someone else, then it is worth it. Some of the things I have had to really deal with lately are anger, bitterness, resentment, and unforgiveness. Strange, because it is not like I haven't had to deal with this issue in my life ever before! I have been hurt by people close to me on many occasions and really have forgiven them and moved on...but this last week it reared it's ugly head once more through a totally different situation I was so not  expecting! Once again I found myself angry, resentful, and unforgiving. God has been using His tool all week on me...His word and His still small voice...telling me it just isn't worth me upsetting myself over what another person is doing or how another is reacting. Certain Bible verses pop into my mind at just the right time.. I know that is no accident. I believe that is His tool...smoothing away my rough edges to help me be what he wants me to be. 
Ephesians 4:31-32 "Let all bitterness and wrath and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you , with all malice; And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you."
So this morning, I say...Ok, God...I get it..... I  let go...the situation is yours ...the person is yours...You deal with it....Thank You for a new day and a new week!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I Believe In Angels

I do happen to believe that God puts angels around His children to protect them. I have seen this many times throughout my life but was reminded of this once again . I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my daughter so that we could go out to have lunch together yesterday. We haven't been able to get together in awhile recently due to her busy schedule with a full time job, college courses after work, and all of my doctor visits, and not to mention the wintry weather! Wouldn't you know it would have to be snowing? It is about a 45 minute drive out to our house and I was a bit concerned. I was praying for her to arrive safely. Little did I know, that at the time I was sitting praying for her, she had spun out on some ice, hit a stop sign,and a mail box, and ended up in a ditch! 
She didn't so much as get a scratch, although her car lost the driver's side mirror and messed up the driver's side headlight. She was just a little shook up but God even sent someone along at just the right time with the ability to pull her out of the ditch. She was able to start her car back up and made it safely the rest of her way to my house. Don't ever underestimate the power of prayer, and never doubt that God does indeed protect!
Psalm 91:11 "For He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways."

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Just a Little Candle

There is nothing quite as refreshing to me as walking in the house to the scent of  a candle burning or warming in a candle warmer. Usually, I pick the country scents like apple pie or pumpkin spice or vanilla bean. The thing is ....I just realized that I am fresh out of candles! If it were up to me, I would have one lit and put in every window...but we have three very curious cats that like to get everywhere that they are not supposed to, and I am convinced they would burn our house down! We get a lot of thunder storms here in the summer and many times have lost our power and my candles have come in handy for a little light. One little candle doesn't give off a whole lot of light, but when you have a bunch of them, you can light up the whole house. I am just one little speck in the whole spectrum of the world but I can make a little difference. Each of us together can make a bigger impact if we all worked together at it. I remember singing the little song ...."this little light of mine, I'm gonna let it shine.....", and wondered what in the world that meant. My life can either give off a positive glow and actually inspire and help others or it can be dark and negative, and be a destructive force in somebody's life.  It's not always about  words that we can preach  "AT"  people, it is the way we treat them and are in character, that reflects the light of God in our lives. People need to see that we are for real...from the heart....not just religious in the head! I want to be more real  and less superficial.                                                                                                                                                        
Matthew 5:15-16 " Neither do men light a candle and hide it under a bushel but on a candlestick and it giveth light to all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in Heaven."

Friday, March 11, 2011

It Has Been Good For Me....

"its not the tone of voice you use when you are praying, but the tone of voice you are using behind closed doors at home."...~Joyce Meyer

I was telling my daughter the other day that this has been the best year of my life... I am 50. I will soon be 51! I suppose to other people, looking from the outside at my circumstances, may say, " how can she say that?"  I have been thinking about how quickly this past year has flown by. Since my last birthday, I have been to many, many doctor appointments, had numerous medical tests, been added several prescriptions. Along with all of this, my husband has also been sick many times with pneumonia, at least three times this year, on top of his "normal" problems that stem from his brain injury. So how can it have been a good  year?
I have learned to really pray. Sure, I prayed all of my life and have been to church and even worked in a Christian School.....but it is easy to let Christianity almost become a " learned"  behaviour instead of a relationship with a person! True Christianity, is not  religion, but a relationship, in which I can talk to my "Best" friend, and in faith know that He hears me! A lot of people pray big lofty prayers but then turn right around and cuss out their family. I honestly do not believe God honors that. I heard this from Joyce Meyer this morning and it is no accident! I was already thinking on all of this...."it's not the tone of voice you use when you are praying, but the tone of voice you are using behind closed doors at home."  I have had time this past year to sit, think, and pray much! I have had some people mad at me for being bold enough to say that I had prayed for them. They may think I  am some kind of a kook! I am not perfect.....far from it!  I have my daily struggles just like every one else...but I know beyond any doubt that God is listening to my voice and has answered so many prayers over this last year. I do not enjoy being sick in the least...don't get me wrong.....and I love all of my friends who believe in praying for instant healing....however for me personally, I have to say,  " it has been a good thing for me to be afflicted that I may draw near to God."  Whether you are sick or in perfect health or things are going great or you are in a heap of trouble....it is always the same...He listens....  He Cares.....He does something about it!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Just A Little Birdie

Well...here I am again...better late than never! I am usually up earlier, before the sun! Today I have been up too, but for some reason I kept changing my mind as to what I wanted to write about. I am sitting here watching the sun shining so brightly and it is refreshing after not showing itself for a few days. I even thought I saw a few little birdies fluttering around in the tree outside my window....or was that my imagination?  I am really getting anxious for the warmth of Spring...It seems to me that this has been one of the coldest, longest winters in a long while! I just want to get outside and walk in my field and listen to the little birdies. Last year I had a constant little yellow visitor at my bedroom window every morning and I hope his family comes back...I know he won't be coming back.....one of my cats saw to that , much to my disappointment, last summer! I remember waking up one morning and realizing that my visitor had not come. I wondered, but dismissed it from my thoughts, until I was later out mowing the lawn around the window, and noticed my poor little birdie on the ground. I felt so sad. You may laugh and think...it's just a silly bird! But to me it was a special little visit each morning with a song....telling me to wake up and face a new day. I am reminded this morning that God cares even when a little bird falls to the ground.......and cares about me so much more than the birds.

Matthew 10:31 " Fear not, You are of more value than many sparrows."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Perfect Family

Really....A perfect family? Have you ever in your life heard of anyone who had one? I listen as some of my friends tell me their stories of how it was for them growing up. For some it was great, simple, and uncomplicated! But for others, it was a bit more troubled, and left many scars. Some people have proved that by the grace of God they can overcome the generational curses of their families! It doesn't have to always repeat itself ...When you are a kid you really do not realize what "normal" should be. When you begin to have a family of your own then things start to dawn on you, and as your children grow you are enlightened! You may look back at your own life and all of a sudden realize it was far from what it should have been. Let God  be your father. To those who grew up in foster home after foster home, and you feel so broken , abused and lonely...let God be a loving arm around your shoulder....He has good intentions. He only cares about you...I am so thankful for my Father in Heaven.....He is the strongest....He is the kindest...He tells me I am special and wanted! ...He has never abandoned me ...He has never belittled me...He has never pushed me around....He has never thought evil towards me...He has never been jealous of me...He has never cussed me out....He has never left me hungry or cold or without clothes.... He has never lied to me... He has never disappointed me....He has always rejoiced in my smallest accomplishments and been so proud! Maybe your family wasn't perfect, but it doesn't matter because God  has always been right here by your side and He has promised to never leave! He knows my name and every hair on my head! I can truly say ..I have the Best Father!                                                                                                                                                         2 Cor. 6:18 "I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters,says the Lord Almighty."     

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Got the Right Number?

I was rummaging around in our old truck shed  one day last summer in much trepidation, trying to watch out for the Pine snakes that like to lurk up overhead in the warmth of the rafters. I came across this old relic and of course I was ecstatic that I had uncovered yet another treasure! I brought it in, cleaned it up and immediately put it on display. Soon after, I received another one of my many country decor magazines in the mail and to my surprise there was a replica phone on the page for sale! I thought...they stole my idea!! But my phone has something theirs does not...it still has the original phone number etched on the circle.... and mine was actually used! In this day where just about everything is digital and animated, it is difficult nowadays to actually speak to a human when you call a business. Most of the time we are prompted to press #1 for this, #2 for that, #3 for everything else; and if you are anything at all like me, by the time you are done pressing numbers you almost have forgotten who it was you were calling and what you were calling for!  I am thankful this morning that when I call unto God , He hears me immediately . I don't have to go through any one else to get to Him. No party line!!  No one else is on the other end listening to the conversation ready and willing to gossip about it to the next anxious listener! He doesn't put me on hold.                                                        
Jer.33:3 "Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and mighty things which you know not."

Monday, March 7, 2011

The Old Outhouse

How many people do you know that still have an outhouse in their backyard in 2011?  Well, I do! It was built by my husband's grandpa when he and his wife first moved here to the Northwoods of Wisconsin back in the early 1930's. From what I am told, there was already an outhouse here but apparently was not to the liking of Grandpa, so he built his own. This is no ordinary outhouse mind you. It has accommodations for four! It has two adult sized holes and two children sized holes. I am not positive as to the why it was built this way; I really don't think they made this a "family affair". My theory is....Grandpa was probably a bit particular about anyone else sitting upon his " royal throne" so decided he would make other holes for the other family members, so they would not have to share his. I don't know...I suppose that is a good question for one of  his children the next time one pops in for a visit to see the old homestead, as they often have.

You  can see how far away  from the house this is...Yikes! It is quite a hike if you had to go really bad and if the temperature was anything like what we have been having  this winter! Not to mention, trudging through the snow, besides! In case any of you are wondering....yes, we do have two modern, indoor bathrooms with flushing toilets!! We put them in shortly after moving here ourselves  about eight years ago.  Sometimes I find it is refreshing to take a quick glimpse back at the past  every now and again. Although it is true, we don't want to dwell on the past for too long, we do need every once in awhile to look at it in new appreciation of  the progress we have made both personally, and spiritually...hopefully we are making some progress. Hopefully I can say I am better as a person today than yesterday. I sure am glad that my bathroom is a better place to be than that old outhouse on a cold winter day! Remember...no matter how bad things seem to be...you can always find something to be thankful for!                                                                                       
                                              Psalm107:1 "Give thanks to the Lord for He is good...."

Sunday, March 6, 2011

One of A Kind

I absolutely love antiques and one of a kind items from years gone by! Even as a little girl, I loved to rummage through old barns and just stand in awe at all of the old "junk" and think on how someone  in a different time valued what now was thrown aside in a heap of dust. I especially love to find things that were handmade, for then I know they are one of a kind. I look at this red bottle with the make shift sprinkle cap on it, and think of the story that my friend told me. She is the same dear friend who has given me so many other old things that I cherish...she told me this bottle was her mother's and she used it to iron with. I picture in my mind  an older lady back at least 70 or even 80 years ago, leaning over an ironing board, sprinkling water on her clothes, with this bottle of water. It was at one time so useful to that woman to help her get the wrinkles out of her family's clothes, and now here it sits upon my shelf to bring me pleasure just in the sheer looking at it! Amazing!
I am also a valued "ONE OF A KIND" person! Sometimes in my life I have not realized the full value of my life due to the way others have taken advantage of me and mistreated me; therefore, I began to believe the lies that I would never be as good as someone else, or that maybe everyone else was so much better, and deserved so much more than me; so I should just settle for whatever came to me...Bad idea! After a lot of soul searching, I know that this insecurity in the first place, was the root of my relationship problems. Dont' ever let anyone make you to feel like you are no good or  "not as good as" someone else that you can never live up to!...God made me a "One of a kind" item and values me greatly!! I no longer allow for people to make me feel like I am ugly, or worthless, or not as good as the next. I have come to see that with the confidence of God in my life I don't need to feel insecure anymore! I no longer need to be held back by negativity. I value Life....both mine and other's!
Psalm139:14 "I am fearfully and wonderfully made...."
                                          Psalm139:17 " How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God"

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Plant Your Garden

I suppose that it's warm somewhere right now...but here in the Northwoods it is still Winter! Not exactly time to plant a garden. I definitely have the room for a garden however I  have to confess it is not on the top of my favorite's list! I did try my hand at it a few years ago and planted some tomatoes, green peppers, and  zucchini. I even tried watermelon...that was a flop!  The zucchini were monsters though, and since I am not a true lover of the stuff I think there are probably are few freezer burned bags of it left in my deep freezer right now! I was so excited when I saw those little plants actually had taken root and were surviving my non- green thumb! I have observed over my fifty years of life that whatever you plant does eventually grow......that applies to what we plant in our lives and the lives of others as well. We've all heard the saying, "what goes around, comes around.." ...same principle. Whatever we plant is what is going to grow...duh! It's a hard lesson to learn..and I have no idea why it takes some people longer to learn it than others but I guess I am one of those slow learners...If you plant kindness you are going to reap  kindness eventually, and if you plant abuse and destruction in anothers' life, then that is what you will eventually reap.. it is just a law of nature. But  every single spring especially here in Wisconsin, farmers are busy at work clearing their fields and getting ready to start all over again and plant a brand new crop! So, I can decide to plant a new bunch of seeds in my life in order to reap a right kind of harvest for my tomorrow! Seeds of  love, joy, peace, gentleness, self-control. are all things I need to be planting so that I can reap a great harvest. Galatians 6:7-10 " A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature,from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life. Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers."

Friday, March 4, 2011

A Noteworthy Teacher

I was thinking about who I could honor today for a woman in history that was noteworthy. Of course teachers are close to my heart, because I have always loved being in the classroom, and love children. I have always believed that my students gave more to me than I ever could to them. So I began on my search for a famous noteworthy teacher; however the story of Christy by Catherine Marshall kept on coming to my mind. The story is so captivating. It tells of a well to do young girl that leaves her home to go to a mission in the mountains of Tennessee to teach. It is in a one room school house, to a bunch of very poor children, with very little materials or resources to help her. She had never taught before. This character of Christy was actually the author's mother, who is the one that really should get the honor. Her name is Leonora Whitaker Wood and she was around 19 years old when she decided against her parents wishes to go to the remote mission and teach. It was difficult from day one but she had sheer determination as she faced one obstacle and struggle after another. She retold her story to her daughter Catherine and that is how the novel Christy came into being, so some of the novel is imagination, but for the most part it was the recollection of memories of Leonora's adventures, struggles, and journey of faith in God. I learned a lot about her dedication to teaching from both the book and movie. What if our teachers today all had that same dedication and love for their students? She didn't have to worry about a union or a strike, or pay cut...she barely got paid! Anyway, her life is worthy of noting . Her daughter Catherine Marshall does indeed deserve honor for capturing her story so well; but I think we forget that under all of it there was a true hero that needs to be honored as a very determined, woman full of vim, vigor and stamina to live in those rugged, primitive mountains and teach for practically nothing, with hardly any books. Besides loving the character of Christy, my next favorite is Alice Henderson(also created after a real person-Mary Warren). She is probably partly responsible for many of the practical lessons that Leonora learned while living amongst those mountain people. Here is one of the quotes:"...wallowing in self condemnation or feeling sorry for yourself is worse than falling on your face in the first place~ ~So Thee is human." So you get my vote for Noteworthy Teacher Award.......Leonora Whitaker Wood....Teacher to Appalachian Children.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A Feisty Woman For Her Time

Harriet Beecher Stowe was a woman that not only do I admire her for her outspoken boldness, but also because we have so much in common. She lived in a different time than me, but I think we could have been good friends! She lived 1811-1896 and was born in Litchfield, Connecticut. She moved from there to Maine and then back to Hartford ,Connecticut. Not that it's important right now, but just so you know, I was born in Hartford, Connecticut. Harriet was neighbors with another famous guy, Mark Twain. How many of you have been in both of their houses? Every year of elementary school I went on a field trip to the Harriet Beecher Stowe House and The Mark Twain House. I was never thrilled to go...thought it was kind of boring since we had been there so many times, but now I kind of would like to go one more time, because I'm really interested. Well, back to Harriet...women in that time period were not allowed to talk freely in public or to voice opinions or to cast a vote. Ugh! I would have had a rough time! I have to speak up and take action when needed! That's what she was like only she had to put it all on paper. She hated what was happening in the country with the slavery issues and women's issues. She wanted her voice to be heard. She loved to write; another thing we have in common. She had seven kids, but  one of her babies died at 18 months old. She was so upset at the loss of her son that she said  it inspired her to write Uncle Tom's Cabin which became a very famous anti-slavery book. She said she could sympathize with the mothers who had their children just taken from them to be sold. I know that pain along with Harriet and many of my friends know this same pain as well, but  Harriet used her pain to write a book that would help make a change in the slavery issue.She wrote many books and continued her writing for about 50 years! She also helped to form the Hartford Art School which was later, the University of Hartford. I love one of her quotes:
"The past the present and the future are really one; they are today"~
Harriet Beecher Stowe
Really that is the truth, we can't do much about the past for it is gone forever so why dwell on it? We don't know if we will have tomorrow so why worry about it? All I have is today! It again is a new day and it is up to me to make the most of it. I hate hearing people talk about the "good old days", saying, "those were the good old days", as if they are all gone by!...These ARE the "good old days" right now!
"This is the day the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in IT."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Laugh A Little

 I met a lady recently that was so cheerful it was downright refreshing! I have had my share of negative people in my life and to be around this lady for even a few minutes was like a breath of fresh air! She was just bubbling over with exuberance and cheerfulness. I thought to myself...what in the world is she so happy about? She was obviously having a hard time walking, for she was using a cane. She obviously had a form of arthritis, as I noticed her hands were gnarled and twisted, and she was having a hard time opening her purse. She went out of her way to ask me my name and just giggled and smiled. I then realized why it was that she had made it to be as old as she was. You see, she told me she had just turned 90! I bet she laughs every day of her life! I know she made me laugh, that is for sure. Even the medical profession has recognized that laughter is beneficial to one's health. Solomon, who was supposed to have been the wisest man who ever lived, wrote the book of Proverbs. He said, "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine." Proverbs 17:22.  After meeting this very cheerful ninety year old, I started thinking about how little I actually laugh and decided it was time to make a change. Even on the worst day you can take a few minutes to think of something that will make you laugh. Think of when you were a kid how sometimes you would laugh until you cried! Maybe you just need to laugh at yourself once in awhile. Watch a funny movie, listen to some music and make yourself do something goofy...let yourself be silly once in awhile...it is good for your health! I hope that when I am 90 years old I will still be giggling and laughing with all of my old friends and with everyone who is around me...it sure beats being a bitter old prune!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

A Valuable Pearl

It seems that every day is filled with some sort of irritation or another. Many are really minor and I keep reminding myself to not "sweat the small stuff". But face it, nobody likes to be inconvenienced by things that irritate; like a broken coffee pot first thing in the morning(that's got to be the worst!), or a frozen water pipe in the middle of a sub-zero winter freeze! Maybe you're just going down the road minding your own business and a tire goes flat! Maybe a bunch of things like this all happen to you in one day! It's got to be a bad hair day too! Then of course, there are much bigger issues that people have that are really major and are no laughing matter. Whatever it is, minor or enormous, the irritation does have a purpose if you think about it. Did you know, that a pearl that is formed naturally,  forms because a tiny irritant gets in the oyster, and the more it irritates the more it actually helps to form this beautiful, valuable pearl? It takes about five years for a pearl to form. Pearls are considered to be very valuable because in the wild they are actually pretty rare. Perhaps I am looking at the things that irritate me in the wrong light. Instead of being so frustrated and disgusted with whatever the irritant is, I should be glad that it is having a part in making me into a beautiful pearl. There is some truth to it . I know who I am today, is because of some of the hardships I have been through. So...there is an upside of irritations. Hopefully, as I continue to age and experience yet more irritations, I will learn to allow them  to make me into a better, stronger person who can have value to others as a rare pearl.

my prayer

my prayer